The Social Security Disability System in the United States is very broken: it just about takes the incentive to work away because many people would be actually earning less money than Social Security pays monthly. I am in this boat right now so I purposely took a part-time job where I could set the days and hours. Few of these jobs really exist and one of them is being a commercial driver; driving a bus or truck.
So I am going to start driving a para-transit bus on Saturdays and Sundays for 14.00 a hour. It is enough to continue to collect disability and have a little extra on the side for a rainy day. I think that something should change in this system. What if somebody on disability could continue to collect money as long as they’re earning less than 45,000.00 per year with a yearly cost of living increase and adjustment for inflation. This rewards work and improves people’s lives.
So this begs the question why should people with disabilities continue to get disability payments while working full time? The answer is that because we never know when our disability might change our circumstances. This is especially true for people with mental illness like myself. I never really know how I am going to be doing week to week. Sometimes it’s day to day. Thankfully, I have the self awareness to know when it would be unwise for me to perform a safety sensitive position. It’s this self awareness that allows me to qualify for a 2 year DOT medical card that I might otherwise not get.
I am a Bernie Sanders fan but there is one idea that I like from Andrew Yang and that is a Universal Basic Income with no strings attached. I would take it further and say that it cannot be garnished in any way shape or form and strict controls on rent codified by law. I would love this because I will only make 14.00 per hour.